With hundreds of thousands of businesses founded in France each year, entrepreneurship is tempting for many people. The creation of companies is also encouraged by the services of bringing together professional clients, the modification of regulatory constraints, and a lenient economic context despite a global slowdown.

What is entrepreneurship?

The pursuit of an opportunity in which the entrepreneur is the initiator and implements strategies to materialize a project beyond the resources under his control. The entrepreneur deploys his determination, skills and energy to transform an idea into economic activity in order to derive benefits.

The pursuit of an opportunity in which the entrepreneur is the initiator and implements strategies to materialize a project beyond the resources under his control. The entrepreneur deploys his determination, skills and energy to transform an idea into economic activity in order to derive benefits.

The benefits of entrepreneurship

Setting up a business and becoming an entrepreneur offers several advantages:

  • Be your own boss, free and independent, far from the routine of salaried work, with the possibility of managing your working time.
  • Make a better living, especially when the created business prospers and generates profits.
  • Realize your dream by turning your passion into a professional activity and live a satisfying entrepreneurial adventure by carrying out a dream project.
  • Gain self-esteem and gain that of others, because the confidence gained then applies in other areas of existence.
  • Respond to the needs of society, through job creation, for example, or by opting for social entrepreneurship .

The keys to success

There is no straightforward road to success in entrepreneurship. However, there are qualities to have and principles to follow in order to be successful. Many entrepreneurs who have succeeded in making their project a reality provide advice on their blogs .

Have the right mindset

To make his project a success, the entrepreneur must:

  • Be serious in order to gain the trust of your partners.
  • Be determined and confident to know when to take risks and be able to overcome any obstacles that will arise.
  • Be passionate, because passion makes it easier to overcome difficulties.
  • Be organized in order to manage your time efficiently and achieve your goals more quickly.
  • Be flexible in knowing how to adapt to the situation and agree to change the pre-established plan if necessary.
  • Be a good leader, because the entrepreneur must manage and motivate his team so that everyone deploys all their skills.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills, as it is essential to effectively nurture relationships with customers, suppliers, investors and employees.
  • Be competitive, since the entrepreneur must innovate or offer more interesting products and services than those already on the market.

Find the activity that’s right for you

Business ideas are plentiful. However, you have to be sure that you have found the right project, the activity that is suitable for:

  • On its own, it makes sense to opt for an activity that excites you, that arouses your interest, that is suited to your profile, that corresponds to your knowledge and your experience.
  • The close entourage, it is necessary that the project obtains the support of your close relations, that your family approves the possible changes, and that the activity does not hamper your family relations.

First of all, therefore, determine the sector that interests you. By carrying out a project that is close to his heart, the entrepreneur will be more persevering in the face of difficulties. In addition, thanks to the support of his family, he will have no trouble meeting the challenges to achieve the goal he has set for himself.

Then, you have to identify the type of clientele to which your business is going to address. It is preferable to target several in order to reach as many prospects as possible through communications. This is the definition of “ personas ”.

It is then necessary to identify the needs of these groups of people and to consider several solutions to their needs.

Find a niche market

A niche market refers to a very small market share that meets a specific need, or that offers a high-end product.

The entrepreneur offers a particular product or service, intended to satisfy loyal customers, for which he is the only reference.

This is the case, for example, with the construction of vehicles for the disabled or the production of organic wines.

The niche market has some very interesting advantages:

  • Each company has a specific target, where competition is very low, or even non-existent.
  • Notoriety is very strong, because marketing strategies focus on a very small number of people.
  • The profit margin is high because the customer is often willing to pay more for a specific product.
  • The entrepreneur-client relationship is very personalized and lasting.

However, unlike the mass market, the volume of sales within the niche market is obviously limited by its very status.

Check the feasibility of the project

Even if all the qualities required to be a good entrepreneur are there, the business will always end in failure if the project is not viable. Thus, before embarking on entrepreneurship, it is important to check that the project is fundable and that the business model is profitable.

Several steps allow this verification to be carried out:

  • The market research is the stage during which research and tests concerning the project are carried out in order to see if the idea is interesting, if there are companies which already offer this type of service or product in the region. , if the project has technical constraints.
  • The business plan is used not only to guide the entrepreneur on the strategies to be adopted, but also to convince investors of the feasibility and profitability of the activity to be financed.
  • The business model, also called “economic model”, constitutes the financial structure of the company. The choice of the economic model and the financial package make it possible to detail the expenses and to determine if the financial resources can cover all the needs.
  • The value chain is the study of the activities of a company. It makes it possible to determine which offers it an advantage vis-à-vis the competition and thus improve its positioning.

The business plan must state the project’s financing plan , specifying the financing methods to be adopted (self-financing, bank loan, crowdfunding , crowdlending, etc.).

How to get started?

Think you have what it takes to be successful in entrepreneurship? So here’s how to start your business.

Ask yourself the right questions

At each stage of the entrepreneurial process, you have to know how to ask the right questions:

  • Should you hire an associate to help you understand and overcome difficulties? 
  • Who to choose as an associate? 
  • What tasks are difficult to perform? 
  • Is it important to build a team? 
  • How to organize the team? 
  • What is the legal status best suited to the activity of the company? 
  • Which tax regime to adopt? 

The QQOQCP method is an excellent way to define all the essential elements for the realization of the project. Before making a decision, you should ask yourself:

  • Who ? (partners, bankers, suppliers)
  • When? (launch of the activity, contact with suppliers) 
  • Or ? (company headquarters, places of activities, client meetings) 
  • What? (goods, services) 
  • How? ‘Or’ What ? (organization of the team, obtaining funding) 
  • How ? (financial contributions, number of suppliers) 
  • Why ? (take a partner, deal with this supplier).

Define a marketing strategy

Developing a well-thought-out and constructed marketing strategy requires first defining the target audience. Then, it is necessary to develop effective sales techniques and effective commercial strategies to cover the target market share.

The following different categories of marketing must be taken into account:

  • Strategic marketing which identifies the marketing objectives to be achieved.
  • Operational marketing which develops the tactics to adopt to achieve the expected results.
  • Direct marketing which consists of entering into a direct relationship with each customer in order to initiate a personalized loyalty strategy.

Define a communication strategy

The communication strategy brings together the actions to be taken to achieve the communication objectives. It allows you to detail:

  • The tactics to be implemented in terms of relations with partners and customers.
  • The means to adopt to promote the company (billboards, flyers, social networks, conferences, seminars, etc.)

You have to talk about yourself, your business plan, the products and services offered, the advantages over competitors, etc. The COMM method makes it easy to do this:

  • Target (who you are talking to) 
  • Goal (what you want the target to do) 
  • Message (what you mean) 
  • Media (how you want to convey your message).

This strategy will also help you during the creation of your website. The creation of this online showcase, whether of your business and / or your products or services, will be essential for you to establish an online presence. You’ll need :

  • Buy a domain name 
  • Buy a server 
  • Choose and install a theme 
  • Create your structure 
  • Write your adapted and personalized content 
  • Optimize your site for SEO 
  • Promote your site.

Define a sales strategy

As an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to ignore business strategy. For it to be effective, you need to look at the long term and plan for months or even years. Here are the golden rules of a good sales strategy:

  • Set goals (number of sales, customer acquisition): the SMART method can be used.
  • Define your positioning on the market by seeking to differentiate yourself from the competition.
  • Identify your actions in order of priority (networking, regional networking, relaunching former clients, buying prospect lists, etc.) 
  • Make an action plan: choice of channels, choice of success indicators, choice of messages.
  • Take a step back from your strategy: each customer acquisition or loss must be interpreted for continuous improvement.

Sources of inspiration

To help you orient yourself and find the best business idea, here are some sources of inspiration.

Promising markets

Growth markets are niche markets in which demand is greater than supply. These are useful and interesting activities, including:

  • In the field of commerce (e-commerce, soup bar).
  • In the field of agriculture and agrifood (fight against food waste, cultivation of saffron).
  • In the field of services (dog grooming at home, support for dependent or elderly people in their daily life, school support company).
  • In the social or artistic field (social taxi services, associative coffee).
  • In the field of innovation (Big Data, GreenTech, Silver Economy).
  • In the field of sport (sports coach, sports naturopathy).
  • In the field of original ideas (cemetery for animals, consultancy in the creation of urban farms).

Examples of companies

Many entrepreneurs have succeeded in turning their idea into a flourishing professional activity. Among them, we can cite:

  • Training For All provides businesses, public bodies and all types of professionals with a training catalog, made up of more than 1,200 videos and some thirty courses. The mobility of training is a major asset, thus offering interested parties access to it at any time of the day, and even on the move.
  • Promis is an online platform which, after noticing that half of entrepreneurs were poorly insured, set out to reconcile entrepreneurs and insurers. The company provides personalized advice, details insurance offers and supports entrepreneurs in their efforts.
  • Vegg’up is a company wishing to promote vegetarian and vegan cuisine. In collaboration with bloggers and nutritionists, she has concocted more than 4,000 recipes and allows users to plan their meals each week, through her mobile application.
  • Iktos is a company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop tools that allow pharmaceutical companies to find simple molecules with high potential more quickly.

Before embarking on entrepreneurship, it is essential to learn about the market in which you want to establish yourself, to assess the viability of your project and to be well surrounded.

This is where networking takes on its importance: you have to develop your network of contacts (family, friends, former colleagues, competitors, partners).

Networking allows you to broaden your knowledge, build relationships, build a reputation and learn from the successes and mistakes of others.

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